Expansions, plans, purchases and more from around the globe
KONE Vietnam Expands, Looks to Future Growth
KONE subsidiary KONE Vietnam LLC has expanded and renovated its corporate office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with plans to open additional offices in other parts of the country in the near future. KONE CEO and President Henrik Ehrnrooth visited Vietnam for the first time for the occasion, which saw the site adding a designated customer call center to accommodate its expanding installation and maintenance business. Executive Vice President of KONE Asia Pacific Axel Berkling also attended. Vu Nguyen, managing director of KONE Vietnam, stated:
“Providing customer-centric solutions and services is our key reason for this expansion. With more people moving into cities, we want to be there to partner with and support our customers. KONE has local offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and a new office will be open in Danang by the end of 2017. We are looking at opening offices in other parts of Vietnam, as well.”
Industry Leaders Discuss Factors Driving Growth in India
Regulatory changes, population shifts and government investment in housing and infrastructure are among factors driving big OEMs to expand capacity to keep up with demand in India, according to a report in Business World India. Regulatory changes include the Goods and Services Tax and the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act of 2016, both of which are improving accountability and compliance. KONE, Schindler, Johnson Lifts, Otis and Mitsubishi Electric are together investing billions of U.S. dollars into expansion of their facilities to meet demand that is expected to grow from approximately 50,000 to 55,000 units annually to more than 70,000 by 2021.
Urbanization also promises to continue to fuel demand. Around 340 million people, or one-third of the population, currently live in cities in India. By 2030, that will more than double, and India will have 68 cities with populations of more than 1 million. As the industry grows, challenges remain, those interviewed said. These include lack of a uniform safety law across India (currently only 11 states have laws covering lift installation and maintenance) and lack of skilled labor. Amit Gossain, managing director of KONE India, said stakeholders “need to sit across the table and push the central government for a uniform model regulation that can help in bringing standardization, economies of scale and robust safety measures.”
Netherlands Yacht Lift Specialist Celebrates 10 Years
Netherlands-based yacht lift specialist Lift Emotion B.V. (ELEVATOR WORLD, November 2015) is celebrating 10 years in 2017. To date, it has delivered approximately 350 ship elevators, as well as bespoke systems for private residences in France, Switzerland and the U.S. Current projects include a custom system for a new theater in California, and elevators for yachts in the Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, Australia and the U.S. Notable recent successes include delivery of the first of two 2:1 high-speed, hydraulic inverter-driven elevators for two new Lindblad National Geographic exploration vessels. At the Monaco Yacht Show in September, Lift Emotion introduced its new robotic-arm elevator concept being developed with yacht designer Christian Leyk.
Canada’s Savaria Agrees to Purchase Colorado Company
Savaria Corp., headquartered in Laval, Canada, announced in August it had agreed to acquire the assets of Visilift, LLC, a manufacturer of panoramic lifts for the residential market headquartered in Eaton, Colorado. The purchase price was US$5 million, with US$3.5 million payable immediately and the remainder upon certain conditions, such as transferring production to Savaria facilities in Brampton, Canada. Savaria Chairman and CEO Marcel Bourassa stated:
“Kevin Simmons and his team have developed a unique, round, glass elevator that will be an exciting new product for our dealer network, both in North America and internationally, especially within the Asian market. Along with Simmons, Visilift’s head of sales, Jesse Simmons, and chief engineer, Dylan Hochstetler, will work within a dedicated group to further develop this product. To that end, Savaria has hired three specialized engineers to support the initiative.”
DigiPara Focuses on CAD Productivity
Industry building-information-modeling (BIM) software provider DigiPara’s theme at Interlift this month is “Elevators. BIM. Automation.” The German company has updated its Liftdesigner product (EW, December 2011 and November 2012) to what it calls its “2018” edition. In addition to its typical use of drawing automation through enterprise resource planning systems, it is now also possible to load and reuse computer-aided-design (CAD) models from common CAD programs with it. Users can also export their CAD data as 3D BIM models. The 3D CAD files can come from SolidWorks, PTC Creo and Autodesk Inventor. Manufacturers can provide their entire elevator as a 3D BIM model to architects.
thyssenkrupp Debuts TeleRetail Delivery Robot
thyssenkrupp, with partner software developer TeleRetail GmbH, unveiled a driverless delivery robot for elevator maintenance at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Part of a pilot project in which robots will transport spare parts and other materials to the jobsite, it was one of two robots in TeleRetail’s New Mobility World exhibit at the Frankfurt, Germany, event. The technology promises to be an optimal logistics solution for elevator servicing, according to thyssenkrupp. The delivery robots are 85 cm wide and suitable for traveling on sidewalks. They can carry payloads of up to 35 kg. Ivo Siebers, senior vice president of Global Logistics at thyssenkrupp Elevator, observed with increased traffic on city streets, that the pressure on supply chains is increasing. He said:
“This is a challenge of urbanization that our service technicians are already experiencing. With driverless delivery robots, we could fill a gap and get spare parts from our warehouse to the jobsite faster, more flexibly and with less impact on the environment.”